3 January 2012 — Stop NATO
- German Warplanes Take Over NATO Baltic Patrol
- Canada Praises NATO Partner Qatar For Libyan, Syrian Roles
- U.S. Opened Pandora’s Box With Drones
- Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline Study Finished
- BRICS Should Have Bigger Say In World Economic Order
German Warplanes Take Over NATO Baltic Patrol
January 2, 2012
NATO Air Policing mission to be transferred from Denmark to Germany
On January 2 four F-4 Phantom fighters of the German Air Force will land in the Siauliai Air Base. German air personnel will replace Danish troops currently on guard of the Baltic airspace with four F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.
The Official date of transfer is January 4. The German air contingent will ensure security of the Baltic skies for the fifth time.
Canada Praises NATO Partner Qatar For Libyan, Syrian Roles
Qatar News Agency
January 2, 2012
Canadian FM Hails Qatar’s Role in the Liberation of Liban People
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has lauded the role of the State of Qatar for the liberation of the Libyan people, highlighting its political, diplomatic and military contributions to the success of this liberation.
Minister Baird pointed out to the partnership between Qatar and Canada in the liberation operation, which, he said, was important and essential among a number of member states of the NATO and some Arab countries.
Speaking to the Qatari daily (al-Sharq), the Canadian Foreign Minister believed that Canada and Qatar had played a major role in terms of the military involvement, noting that the Qatari role is not only recognized for its military contribution, but rather for its political and diplomatic contributions to the liberation.
Concerning the situation in Syria, Baird hailed the Arab League distinguished and extraordinary role to resolve the Syrian crisis.
He said that the United Nations had failed to deal with the Syrian crisis annd denounced the failure of the Security Council to make any move towards the situation so far.
U.S. Opened Pandora’s Box With Drones
Zanesville Times Recorder
January 1, 2012
U.S. opened Pandora’s box with drones
Darrell L. Shahan
-By being the first to use drones, we have unleashed a Pandora’s box upon the world. Imagine a world where your every move outside your home is monitored. Drone warfare demands that we learn to settle conflicts without war.
Modern warfare has entered a new era. Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, can fly thousands of miles, conduct surveillance or target and kill individuals with precision. Unfortunately, this precision does not prevent collateral damage, the military term for unintended civilian deaths. Military experts predict this will be the pattern for future military conflicts.
Quite often, the drones are operated by personnel who are far removed from the conflict. They kill enemy combatants by day and go home at night to their families. A definite advantage is the fact that unmanned aircraft do not place any pilots at risk.
Now for the dark side. A disadvantage is that this type of warfare depersonalizes warfare and reduces it to just another video game. The warfare acquires an antiseptic quality that could make the decision to go to war more likely and acceptable. The popular perception is that, because of our advanced technology, the United States has a virtual monopoly on drones. According to CNN, nothing could be farther from the truth. Quoting the article, ‘As many as 50 countries are developing or purchasing these systems, including China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and Iran.’
In Palestine, Hezbollah used a small drone for surveillance. It flew so slowly that the Israeli jets could not reduce their speed enough to shoot it down.
Drones are now available commercially. Farmers could use them for the purposes of dusting crops. This application would appear to lend itself to the distribution of biological weapons over a metropolitan area, by an enemy. Terrorists could conceivably buy a commercial version.
The Iranian capture of a U.S stealth spy drone over Iran, which was conducting surveillance of their nuclear program, undoubtedly will aid the drone development program of other countries.
There also are disturbing legal questions. Military personnel are authorized to operate drones during war, but it is reported that they also are operated by civilian CIA members under their covert programs. This dilutes responsibility and prevents scrutiny by the public.
The FAA is expected to issue rules allowing drones to be used by law enforcement in the U.S. The ACLU fears drones might be used indiscriminately, leading to constant monitoring of the public, in any outdoor location, instead of only gathering evidence in specific cases. The ACLU wants specific guidelines defining their use. Citizens now are under constant monitoring in many municipal settings. The only privacy left would be in your own home. Would invasion of the sanctity your home be next? Freedom usually is not lost in one fell swoop. It usually disappears piecemeal. When the public becomes accustomed to the newest incremental change, the next one is implemented.
By being the first to use drones, we have unleashed a Pandora’s box upon the world. Imagine a world where your every move outside your home is monitored. Drone warfare demands that we learn to settle conflicts without war.
Shahan is a retired, politically active and concerned senior citizen. He worked in the electrical power industry for 38 years, was an apartment owner and manager for 30 years and a dairy farmer for five years.
Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline Study Finished
Pajhwok Afghan News
January 2, 2012
Feasibility study on TAPI gas pipeline completed: Shahrani
By Abdul Qadir Siddiqui
-Shahrani said the Ministry of Interior was able to keep security for the $7.5 billion project, adding the Taliban had said nothing about the project, but theHizb-i-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, had voiced its support for the plan.
KABUL: A feasibility study on laying the multibillion-dollar Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline has been completed and work on the project’s design to finish this year, the mines minister said on Monday.
An agreement of the project was signed by the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Turkmenistan in 2010.
The pipeline would be able to deliver 34 billion cubic metre of gas annually and would be officially inaugurated in 2016.
The project would earn Afghanistan $400 million in income per year, the Minister of Mines, Wahidullah Shahrani, told Pajhwok Afghan News during an interview.
It was planned to start material procurement services for the project at the end of 2010, but the process has yet to be launched, he said.
He said the process was delayed due to the importance of the project that needed wide discussion.
The minister said the pipeline was 1,800 kilometres long, with 917 km passing through Afghanistan’s territories in Herat, Farah, Helmand and Kandahar provinces.
The idea of the project was initiated during the rule of Taliban. India was lately included in the project in 2008.
Shahrani said the Ministry of Interior was able to keep security for the $7.5 billion project, adding the Taliban had said nothing about the project, but theHizb-i-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, had voiced its support for the plan.
BRICS Should Have Bigger Say In World Economic Order
Xinhua News Agency
January 2, 2012
BRICS should have bigger say in world economic order
By Yu Zhixiao
-[A] bigger say for BRICS will also help transform the current Western-dominated world economic order into a more reasonable, balanced and equitable one, which will better represent interests of developing economies and is essential for sustained world economic growth.
BEIJING: The world economy, short of a robust recovery, is likely to continue to face a sea of challenges and hobble forward in the new year.
As one dose of antidote to the current global economic malaise, BRICS, a bloc of five major emerging economies, should have a bigger say and play a more important role in the world economic mechanism.
A bigger say for BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, in the world economic system, particularly in the heavyweight financial blocs such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is a proper reflection and confirmation of BRICS’ rising economic clout and contribution to world economic growth.
There is no denying that the current world economic order is dominated by Western powers. For example, although China’s and India’s shares of voting power in the World Bank were increased from 2.77 percent to 4.42 percent and from 2.77 percent to 2.91 percent, respectively, after the Bank’s reforms in April 2010, the U.S. share is still 15.85 percent, which effectively gives the country a veto power at the organization.
According to the IMF, BRICS, the cooperative quintuplet, with roughly one third of the world’s total population and more than a quarter of the world’s land area, was estimated to have a combined nominal GDP of 13.6 trillion U.S. dollars in 2011, accounting for 19.5 percent of the world’s total.
Meantime, Reuters’ investment outlook summit, held last December, predicted BRICS could become as big as the G7 (the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Canada and Italy) by 2027.
A Goldman Sachs report in 2009 showed that, since the start of the 2008 global financial crisis, 45 percent of global growth had come from BRIC (before South Africa joined in late 2010), which was first coined as an economic concept in 2001 by Jim O’Neill, a senior Goldman Sachs economist.
BRICS countries have made tremendous contributions to the world economy by increasing employment, cutting poverty, pouring in capital, exporting and importing, among others.
The contributions should be reflected in BRICS’ bigger voice in the world economic system.
Meanwhile, a bigger say for BRICS will also help transform the current Western-dominated world economic order into a more reasonable, balanced and equitable one, which will better represent interests of developing economies and is essential for sustained world economic growth.
Developed countries, which are being confronted with dim economic prospects and slow recovery, should cooperate more closely with emerging economies, particularly BRICS, to work out their differences and achieve win-win results.
But it is worth noting that cooperation here does not merely mean persuading dynamic emerging economies to unilaterally shoulder more responsibilities, such as purchasing more European and U.S. sovereign debt bonds.
To tide over the current crises and more effectively boost the world economy, the United States and European countries should scrap protectionist measures, open their arms to investment from BRICS and other developing countries, and export more advanced technologies to them.
Closer coordination and cooperation are urged between BRICS members and developed economies, as well as between developing and developed countries.